The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society activates its Early Action Protocol for Heatwaves in Dhaka

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society activated its Early Action Protocol (EAP) for Heatwave in Dhaka on 21 April 2024. This will initiate a series of anticipatory actions to support people at risk before the worst impacts of the heat wave are felt. These actions will be supported by financing from the Anticipatory Pillar of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Disaster Response Emergency Fund, with a budget of 499,930 Swiss francs (approx. 547,000 US dollars/511,000 euros) to support actions that will target 123,700 vulnerable people.

Data from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department indicates that a severe-to-very-severe heat wave is sweeping over some districts in Bangladesh, while a mild-to-moderate heat wave is affecting most districts in the country. Based on this information, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society has approved the activation of its EAP in Dhaka, the capital city. This will initiate a series of anticipatory actions to support people at risk before the worst impacts of the heat wave are felt.

Triggering the EAP for Heatwave

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department’s forecasts indicate maximum temperatures will exceed 38 degrees Celsius, with the high relative humidity leading to the heat index surpassing 38 degrees for two or more consecutive days. Global forecasts, from sources such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and the Global Forecast System, also predict that temperatures will remain above 38 degrees for two or more consecutive days, along with high heat indices in Dhaka. The heat wave is forecast to continue until 30 April, with the peaks in temperature and relative humidity in Dhaka forecast to occur from 28 to 30 April.

Considering all these criteria, the trigger threshold for activating the EAP was reached.

Anticipatory actions to support those at risk

Some of the actions outlined in the EAP will be implemented across Dhaka, including:

  • early warning messages and awareness-generation activities among city authorities and communities
  • distribution of safe drinking water, alongside information about water shortages and the risks of dehydration.

Other actions will be targeted towards the most vulnerable areas, as identified within the EAP: Adabor, Gendaria, Kamrangir Char, Lalbagh, Mohammadpur and Pallabi. The following anticipatory actions will be conducted in these areas:

  • distribution of multipurpose cash grants for the most vulnerable individuals, such as elderly people and outdoor workers
  • setting up cooling stations in three strategic locations
  • ambulance support for people suffering from the heat wave, based on their needs. 

For further information, please contact Md. Shahjahan (Saju) and Afroza Haque.

The photo (top) is from a heat wave awareness simulation undertaken in Dhaka, June 2023,  and does not display actions from the current activation. © Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

This article was updated on 25 April 2024 to include the IFRC-DREF budget and the number of people targeted.